Despite increased longevity, many people fail to save the funds necessary to support their retirement. In an attempt both to elucidate and remedy this failing, research exploring the ‘future-self continuity’ hypothesis has revealed that temporal discounting is decreased and saving increased when connections between one’s current and future self are strengthened. Here we explored the possibility that a basic component of mental imagery — spatial visual perspective — may be an important determinant of people’s decisions to spend now or save for the future. The results of two experiments supported this prediction. Rates of saving were enhanced when a distant-future event was generated from a third-person versus first-person vantage point, an effect that was mediated by visual bodily awareness during mental imagery.
- mental imagery
- visual perspective
- intertemporal choice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Macrae, C. N., Mitchell, J. P., Golubickis, M., Ho, N. S. P., Sherlock, R., Parlongo, R., Simpson, O. C. M., & Christian, B. M. (2017). Saving For Your Future Self: The Role of Imaginary Experiences. Self and Identity, 16(4), 384-398. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2016.1264465